Thursday, 3 September 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Pauline is a part-time retail worker and a mum to three kids. Pauline says about JobKeeper: 'The $1,500 is enough for me to survive on, just, including rent and food.' Why is the Prime Minister making it harder for Pauline to pay her rent and feed her kids, by cutting JobKeeper in the middle of the worst recession in almost a century?
I thank the member for her question. The reason we have extended JobKeeper is that the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in Victoria, is extending. In many other states and territories, businesses are reopening, and we want to see more of that—those businesses being able to get back on their feet again and being able to restore the hours that have been lost in those other states and territories. But I remember being in this place earlier this year, and those opposite were actually attacking us—the Labor Party were saying we were paying part-time workers too much under JobKeeper. They were saying that paying them $1,500 was wrong and we should be paying them less. This is what I'm becoming confused about with the Labor Party. The leader before was interjecting on me, and he said I had contradicted myself.
Mr Albanese interjecting—
He's just said it again. He said I had contradicted myself. No. I was just outlining the completely competing positions that the Leader of the Labor Party has had when it comes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker. He says it needs to transition and then he says it needs to keep going on. The each-way bet that the Leader of the Opposition has on this issue means he is a double-minded man. He is not someone you can rely on, because he can't hold a consistent position from one end of the day to the other. This is not someone that Australians can rely on. This is not someone that people can trust. Australians have worked this out about the Leader of the Opposition. They know he'll say whatever he has to—